The first period of ancient Greek philosophy, characterized as pre-Socratic, concerns man’s truly agonizing effort to define the “First Principle” and the “Basic Essence” of the world’s existence.
The various phenomena of the sensible world, which since ancient times have been called nature, characterizing the continuous genesis and decay of the material world, constitutes the distinct object of Greek philosophy throughout the pre-Socratic period.
The question that arises, from where come all that happens on land, sea and sky, in the life of plants, animals and every living being, is a matter of intense concern to human thought at the dawn of existing civilization.
This paves the way for the initial problems of the sciences, which arise, while the Greek philosophy of the time undertakes to answer the great questions of Nature and the world.
Thales inaugurates cosmological research, with water as the basic principle of things.
Anaximander tries to explain the infinite…
Anaximenes explains the air.
Heraclitus explains that fire is the eternal principle.
Xenophanes identifies the beginning of the world with divinity.
Parmenides makes his dogma the unified principle of “being”.
Empedocles accepts the four forms of “being”, i.e. the four basic elements : Earth, Water, Fire, Air!
The epic philosophy of the pre-Socratics draws up the principles of pneumatocracy and positivism.
Anaxagoras discovers the “Mind”, Democritus and Leucippus the atom. The darkness of ignorance is covered.